Call for New International Law on Autonomy in Weapons Systems
By Kyodo JBN
This press release was issued by Soka Gakkai International (SGI) on May 25, 2022, and is being re-published with their permission.
TOKYO — Immoral Code, a 23-minute documentary that raises important questions about how far we are prepared to let machines make decisions of life and death, was launched for online viewing on May 24.
The film, available at www.immoralcode.io, cleverly demonstrates the complexity of human decision-making and the dangers posed by autonomous weapons that could “decide” who to kill.
Immoral Code was produced by Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition of concerned civil society groups. It asks viewers to sign a petition calling for new international law to regulate autonomy in weapons systems.
The Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist network has been an international member of Stop Killer Robots since 2018. Hayley Ramsay-Jones, director of the SGI Office for UN Affairs Geneva Liaison Office and representative of the Stop Killer Robots Working Group on Intersectionality, advised the filmmakers on issues related to representation, race and gender.
She comments: “AI is not neutral. Racism operates at every level of the design process, production and implementation, and this has been shown to lead to mis-identification at alarming rates among communities of color and particularly with regard to black women.”
An in-person launch of Immoral Code was held on May 19 at the Prince Charles Cinema in London’s Leicester Square, followed by an expert panel stressing that we are all vulnerable and the urgent need for internationally binding legislation. SGI supported the launch, along with Amnesty International, Article 36, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
Catherine Connolly, Automated Decision Research Manager for Stop Killer Robots, who spoke on the panel, urged: “Watch and share this film! States have made international treaties to ban and regulate other weapons systems. There is no reason they can’t do it in this case. What they need is the will.”
Immoral Code is introduced on the recently launched SGI Action for Peace website that highlights SGI’s activities as an NGO in consultative status with the UN. See https://sgi-peace.org.
SGI is also engaged in the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons. Related resources on the new website include videos of first-person accounts from victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in original Japanese sound with subtitles in Chinese, English, French and Spanish at https://sgi-peace.org/resources/testimonies-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki. The book, “Hiroshima and Nagasaki: That We Never Forget,” containing 50 individual testimonies, is also freely available.
Stop Killer Robots is a global coalition of more than 180 NGOs and academic partners working to ensure meaningful human control over the use of force through the development of new international law.
The Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is an NGO in consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC since 1983. The Soka Gakkai is a diverse global Buddhist community of 12 million people that promotes peace, culture and education. [IDN-InDepthNews – 02 June 2022]
Source: Soka Gakkai International
Image: Screenshot of “Immoral Code”
Contact: Hayley Ramsay-Jones, SGI Office for UN Affairs, Geneva Tel: +41-791032501, E-mail: hayley.rj[at]sgi-ouna.org